Checks may seem like a thing of the past. However, when it comes to money scams, the one constant seems to be fraudulent checks.
Scammers have utilized the Internet as an easy platform to target people for scams. Whether it’s someone inquiring about an item you listed for sale online or a deal on something that sounds too good to pass up, scammers are figuring out sly tactics to catch your attention and rope you into one of their schemes.
Per the American Bankers Association Foundation (ABA) in collaboration with the Federal Trade Commission, their studies with banking and government industries have shown that check fraud is on the rise.
Things to Consider if You’re Targeted for a Scam
Did they send a check and ask you to send anything back?
It could be that they asked you to pay the taxes on the item, or just shipping and handling. It could be that the sent you a check for more than you were asking on something you sold and they ask if that would cover the shipping. Whatever the case may be, do not send them money back.
Were you a random prize winner?
It isn’t rare that at least once a day a solicitor is ringing our phone. Did you get a phone call saying you were selected to win some too good to be true prize and all you have to do is pay for the taxes? This is a scam. Whether you signed up for a free prize or not, scammers have gotten intelligent with how they are receiving your information. Be cautious and do not give them any information or send them any money.
Did you receive a call from a billing company saying that they need to send you a refund check but there is some type of fee for receiving it?
CAUTION! Scammers are figuring out ways to get ahold of account information that you may have with service companies and pose as them to coax you into sending them money. Before sending anything, hang up and contact your service company to make them aware of the circumstance that occurred.
ABA and FRP recommended a list of precautions to take if you come into a situation where you’ve received a fake check.
- Slow down. Before you act, talk to someone you trust and contact your bank.
- Never send money back to someone who sent you a check.
- Selling online? Consider using an escrow or online payment service.
- Never take a check for more than your selling price.
- Spot this scam? Tell the Federal Trade Commission (ftc.gov/complaint).